Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / New Zealand / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
New Zealand
All Blacks have targets on their backs
ESPN Staff
May 19, 2014
Hansen knows the All Blacks have targets on their backs © Getty Images
Enlarge

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes his side have a target on their backs after their unbeaten 2013 season and has emphasised the need for mental strength ahead of their three-Test series against England.

"It's a three-Test series which I'm looking forward to," Hansen told NZ Herald. "I know the biggest challenge of the year for all the teams [we play], and without sounding big headed, it is they want to beat the All Blacks. It's something that's been happening for years.

"When you're the top dog its a lot easier to be caught with your pants down because you might not have got to that place you need to be. We've seen it already a couple of times with the Chiefs. Now everybody wants to beat the Chiefs and the Chiefs now are expecting to win games as you would when you're the No.1 side. If you haven't got the mental side of your game right then other teams are going to smack you."

Hansen said England were one of the few sides able to question the All Blacks at home, and they had to focus on improving on last year's exploits in order to prepare for the Test series.

"The first thing we've got to do is put a full stop in 2013 and say its over," Hansen said. "From an outcome point of view it was a season to remember, but when you look at the reality of the season there were a number of things we could do better and that's exciting.

"It might be just small margins, 1% here and there, but if we can get four or five 1% gains then we've improved by 5% and hopefully that will be good enough to put in a performance that we can all be proud of.

"We've already started that [process] really. We've had two leadership meetings already. We've had numerous management meetings. They're the people who set and control the environment so it's important that they understand it first and foremost."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Hungarian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Athletics - Commonwealth Games
    Cycling - Tour de France
    Darts - World Matchplay
  • Formula 1

    Toto Wolff injured in bike crash

    Toto Wolff will have to watch Mercedes aim for its tenth victory of the season at the Hungaroring in a sling after suffering multiple fractures from a crash during a bike ride

  • Rugby

    Cipriani wants to extend Sale stay

    Danny Cipriani wants to extend his stay at Sale Sharks and wants the team to continue to improve after last season's sixth-place finish in the Aviva Premiership

  • Football

    'Costa would be average if he wasn't nasty'

    Chelsea's new £32 million striker Diego Costa is an "average player" if you take away his "nastiness and aggression", according to a former key member of the club's backroom staff

  • Rugby

    Juan Smith on verge of Springboks return

    Toulon have announced that their South African triumvirate Bryan Habana, Juan Smith and Bakkies Botha will all be included in the Springboks' squad for the Rugby Championship

  • Formula 1

    Double-points champion won't care - Wolff

    Toto Wolff does not think Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton will care if they win the title because of the controversial double points rule, but insists he still does not think the format is fair

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!